Massimo Cellino has labelled incoming new Leeds manager Steve Evans “a fighter” and admits he’s “someone I used to hate”.
The Glaswegian will be named as the new manager of Leeds United once an agreement has been finalised after the former Rotherham manager took charge of training for the first time on Monday morning.
Evans’ arrival comes after Leeds decided to sack Uwe Rosler following a run of just two wins in 12 games this season.
And Cellino, known as the ‘manager-eater’ in his native Italy after sacking a procession of head coaches during a 22-year spell as Cagliari owner, added that he used to “hate” Rosler’s expected replacement Evans.
Evans departed Rotherham at the end of September after leading the club to successive promotions from League Two.
“I used to hate him because he is a fighter,” Cellino said. “I didn’t like playing against him because he gives his teams his personality.
“He’s a tough coach and I want that character in our team. He manages with passion and our team has not been playing with passion.
“Everything I do is to try and make Leeds better.
“It’s easy to blame the coach and it is not just his fault. I was the one who brought him here, so I have to take responsibility also.
“It was my decision to bring him and so I have to take responsibility if things are not working.”
Evans spoke last October about Cellino and appeared at the time to rule out the possibility of working for such a hands-on chairman.
He told the Yorkshire Post: ”If you are a Dave Hockaday, Darko Milanic or whoever you are – if you take the job under Massimo, you know the rules; he picks the players, you coach the players.
”My interest is the Millers and I pick the players, whether they come, whether they go and our chairman supports that. The minute he doesn’t support it, I go.
”That would be the way it works here and I get fantastic support. I can’t put enough words on it.”
Discuss Rosler’s departure and the likely appointment of Steve Evans on the Leeds United Your Say forum.